Benita Ferrero-Waldner: “Security and stability of the EU is affected by events taking place in Eastern Europe and in the Southern Caucasus”

Benita Ferrero-Waldner: “Security and stability of the EU is affected by events taking place in Eastern Europe and in the Southern Caucasus”
# 03 December 2008 15:18 (UTC +04:00)
Brussels. Alexander Kin–APA. “Only with strong political will and commitment on both sides will the Eastern Partnership achieve its objective of political association and economic integration. We need to make an even greater investment in mutual stability and prosperity. This will be quickly compensated by important political and economic benefits and will lead to more stability and security both for the EU and for our Eastern partners”, said President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso at the press conference on Wednesday, APA correspondent reports from Brussels. “The time is ripe to open a new chapter in relations with our Eastern neighbors”, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner added. “Building on the progress of the last years we have prepared an ambitious and at the same time well-balanced offer. Our policy towards these countries should be strong, proactive and unequivocal”, she said. Ferrero-Waldner said she met with the ambassadors of the countries involved in the Eastern Partnership on December 2 and discussed with them opportunities for development of cooperation. She said more than 600 million euro was allocated for this goal, which is the greater investment not only for the Eastern European countries, but for the European Union as well.
The EU has a growing responsibility to the partners to help them address the political and economic challenges they face and support their aspirations for closer ties, not least in the light of the conflict in Georgia last summer. Following the conflict in the Caucasus the European Council of the 1st September requested the Commission to present its proposal earlier than previously foreseen.
The Commission proposes to launch this initiative in spring 2009 at a special “Eastern Partnership Summit” in Czech Republic.
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